Established in 1997 to galvanize volunteerism on a regular basis, A Time to Help stages monthly projects to aid the needy and promote unity in metro Detroit.

Since then, more than 200 monthly projects have been completed by thousands of volunteers, ranging from building houses, delivering meals, beautifying city streets, running adoption fairs, repairing homeless shelters, packing food, and hosting an annual Christmas party to a shelter for battered women.

Mitch Albom and WJR co-host Ken Brown lead each monthly project, usually held on Saturdays between 9AM – noon. Volunteers can sign up for one, two or all, and there are no requirements, except that, for most events, volunteers should be at least 18 years of age. Older teenagers can come if accompanied by at least one adult supervisor for every four of them.

Do you have a suggestion for a project, or have a question about volunteering? Contact us at

Volunteers Deliver an Impressive Repeat Performance At Motown Soup

Volunteers Deliver an Impressive Repeat Performance At Motown Soup

UTICA — Two hours later, she was laughing about it.

Sherri Primeau of Macomb was nervous as she walked into Trinity Lutheran Church for her first A Time to Help (ATTH) project Saturday morning. She didn’t know a soul.

Her husband, Jim, who volunteers with SAY Detroit’s Muscle Crew, was supposed to be at her side, but he couldn’t make it because of a work commitment.

But moments after Sherri joined the room filled with volunteers, her face lit up: Standing in front of her was a former neighbor whom she hadn’t seen in years —Bobbi Czarnik, a regular Motown Soup volunteer. Czarnik placed Primeau on her “team’’ packaging mini-Chicken Noodle Soup, and — wouldn’t you know — she had a blast.

“This was so much fun,” Primeau said. “You always feel good when you do something for someone else. I’m just so glad I came.’’

Assisted by Motown Soup’s volunteer leaders, nearly 40 ATTH volunteers packaged 1,704 packages of soup and other dry goods in just under three hours. It was the second time this year that ATTH helped restock the storage room for the nonprofit.

SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom was on hand and welcomed the group at the start.

For those keeping score, the “team’’ of volunteers which came out on top was Chicken Pot Pie (369), followed by Mini-Chicken Noodle (320) and Mini-Green Pepper (302).

A trio of volunteers also made 320 gift boxes that Motown Soup will use for the holiday season.

All proceeds from the sale of Motown Soup products benefit homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries throughout Michigan. For the last two years, SAY Detroit’s food program at its SAY Play Center serving Detroit youth ages 8 to 18 has received Motown Soup funding.

“We had six different product lines going, and what you’re doing today is helping us fill in the gaps,” said Dan Kennedy, Motown Soup’s volunteer coordinator. “We saw about a 20% growth last year from the year before. We continually get requests. We’re completely dependent on volunteers.”

In addition to Sherri Primeau, ATTH welcomed other first-time volunteers, including a group of employees from Gordon Advisors Group: Sherrylee Donato, Sharron Saltarelli, Paul Riva, Diane Riva and Urszula Kaleta-Jankowski.

It was great morning!

ATTH next will gather on back-to-back days for the annual SAY Detroit/Salvation Army Holiday Party (on  Dec. 14) and the decorating event, which will be held the day before. Registration and details about the projects can be found here.


A Time to Help Delivers Buckets of Sunshine

A Time to Help Delivers Buckets of Sunshine

Volunteers weeded, cleaned garden beds, planted and do other light chores at Buckets of Rain, which provides fresh produce for the homeless and hungry and SAY Clinic’s patients.

Clean-Up At Cass Community Refreshes, Lifts Spirits

Clean-Up At Cass Community Refreshes, Lifts Spirits

DETROIT — It was spring cleaning, A Time to Help style. For nearly three hours Saturday, more than two dozen A Time to Help volunteers worked to help transform Cass Community Social Services’ cluttered warehouse into a more-organized space. The end result was a site...

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